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Old 02-02-2014, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Maybe a stupid question about the physics of paintball

So before i post this in a well trafficked forum, just wondering...

The last few new calibers to be tried have been lower than 68 (62, 50, 43?)... Why have they not tried to increase the size, maybe to .75? I mean 68 is a way better projectile than 62, and 62 is way better than 50. Now obviously this logic would probably not hold true indefinitely, but I would think that increasing from 68 to 75 would be noticeably better (in the same way that 68 is noticeably better than 62).

I imagine safety might be presented as an issue but im sure they can modify goggles to withstand the increased energy. the pain factor = meh... if you are getting hit 1-3 times it aint that bad, only when you get in the upwards of 5+ does it really start to smart. Would the increased pain drive you away? Also, the larger round would probably slow cycle speeds, but the trend for a while is for lower cycle speeds so not sure that applies either (this would prevent the previously mentioned getting hit 5+ times issue)

I know some people might argue that first strike would negate this but im not sure... First strike requires a loading mechanism which will almost always be bulky (unless they start significantly reducing the size). Increasing caliber of standard paintballs would probably give us a better projectile and allow us to continue using traditional loading methods (maybe 100 rounds in a hopper?)

Thoughts? good topic for debate?
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First Strikes notwithstanding, I don't think anyone is looking for more ways to make paintball cost more, on a per-shot basis.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i see your point but if the benefits are as pronounced as I would expect (from the 62 vs 68 argument as a base line), i am wondering if a larger caliber could become the new standard. This would allow the industry to make new markers, barrels, loaders and take advantage of the new physics (pretty much like what we are seeing with first strikes right now only that this alternative would probably be better than first strike)

If it did become the new standard (and obviously this is the sticking point), i dont think it would cost much more at all - it wouldnt require a different manufacturing process only slightly more materials.

if 50 caliber and first strike became a reality, than this idea certainly could (especially since it has the most to offer relative to these other two alternatives). The main thing that killed 50 cal were ****ty ballistics. The main issue with first strikes is loading/capacity (at least to me). A larger round offers the best of both worlds and gives the industry a new "innovation"
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In the caliber debate many people fail to see what happens when you change caliber and leave everything else alone.

A .50 projectile would probably shoot farther for the same energy. Notice that I said energy and not speed. Energy and of course the impulse are the important factors to the pain.

Given that Kinetic energy is Ke=m(v^2) by lowering the mass you can increase the speed. The drag coefficient also goes down since it has a smaller cross-section. And since gravity will act with the same acceleration on any projectile if you cover more ground before it falls to the ground it will have traveled further.

If you consider momentum, which can roughly be thought of as the projectiles resistance to win, p=mv when diminishing m and increasing v by the root of the factor of decrease in m, you can see that the projectile would be more susceptible to wind.

IMHO 50 Cal wasn't sidelined because of ballistics, but more because people hate change. Same reason why First Strikes are relegated to the same area of paintball as 50 cal, with some people who like it and most people don't because they hate change.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hopefully this is a legit counterpoint to what you just said haha.

From my weak understanding of physics, you would need a higher speed to move a larger mass. So if you can have a larger paintball moving at 300 fps (higher energy) you are going to get more distance which is good. I am proposing higher energies!

with respect to a larger projectile being more susceptible to wind - why would a heavier object (since it has a larger surface area it will have a heavier weight) be more heavily influenced by wind. I mean yes I can see that it would have a higher surface area (like boat sail effect) but the increased mass should offset that?

I mean 50 cal i remember being heavily influenced by wind, 62 less so, and 68 even less. Extrapolating this would suggest .75 would be even better? Again to a limit.


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Originally Posted by Keys_JR View Post
In the caliber debate many people fail to see what happens when you change caliber and leave everything else alone.

A .50 projectile would probably shoot farther for the same energy. Notice that I said energy and not speed. Energy and of course the impulse are the important factors to the pain.

Given that Kinetic energy is Ke=m(v^2) by lowering the mass you can increase the speed. The drag coefficient also goes down since it has a smaller cross-section. And since gravity will act with the same acceleration on any projectile if you cover more ground before it falls to the ground it will have traveled further.

If you consider momentum, which can roughly be thought of as the projectiles resistance to win, p=mv when diminishing m and increasing v by the root of the factor of decrease in m, you can see that the projectile would be more susceptible to wind.

IMHO 50 Cal wasn't sidelined because of ballistics, but more because people hate change. Same reason why First Strikes are relegated to the same area of paintball as 50 cal, with some people who like it and most people don't because they hate change.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you done any calculations as a base for your hypothesis? 75 cal is a significantly larger round mass-wise. Also with that much of an increase the valve size/volume, air supply and overall size of the marker would have to increase along with the caliber. I see you did note on the increased kinetic energy of the projectile, but that is a fairly big issue. A 68 cal in the noggin can really smart, imagine catching a couple 75 cal shots in the head without a helmet on? I see the thought process your coming from, but if your already seeing blood drawn from regular paintballs you may see cracked ribs from larger ones, unless you lower your fps, in which case you have a slower, closer game. And that then raises the issue of making a shell that is brittle enough to break at slower speeds yet strong enough to handle the shot pressures to launch a heavier ball. I don't mean to rain on your parade, but these seem like fairly large obstacles to overcome.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I havent really done any calculations, there are better able people than i for that. I just imagine that it might be possible and that is why i am proposing it. No one has ever suggested larger projectiles...

the injury point is decent but like i said, goggles can be changed to account for that. I mean full head masks already exist, so if 75 cal really required this to prevent injury its not too much of a stretch. Ive never actually seen someone bleed from a hit to the head to be totally honest. Granted, some headshots can be painfull and a fear of this could be concussions (bad). It would depend on the math of how significant an energy increase would be.

the marker point is an interesting one, but not necessarily a killer. The markers built to house first strike guns have become enormous, so a 10, 20 % increase would bring us back to the early 2000's in terms of marker size? Again, not an idea killer. This was an interesting point though, my mind didnt even go there!

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Have you done any calculations as a base for your hypothesis? 75 cal is a significantly larger round mass-wise. Also with that much of an increase the valve size/volume, air supply and overall size of the marker would have to increase along with the caliber. I see you did note on the increased kinetic energy of the projectile, but that is a fairly big issue. A 68 cal in the noggin can really smart, imagine catching a couple 75 cal shots in the head without a helmet on? I see the thought process your coming from, but if your already seeing blood drawn from regular paintballs you may see cracked ribs from larger ones, unless you lower your fps, in which case you have a slower, closer game. And that then raises the issue of making a shell that is brittle enough to break at slower speeds yet strong enough to handle the shot pressures to launch a heavier ball. I don't mean to rain on your parade, but these seem like fairly large obstacles to overcome.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok did math for the first time in like 10 years so dont jump on me too hard if im wrong. Did my best using online calculators haha!

Ok a standard paintball is 3 grams, and fires at 300 feet per second. Using an online calculator this comes out to 12.54 joules

Now, since 75 cal is a 10.3% increase over 68 call we will assume the mass increases proportionally.

So new paintball is 3.309 grams and first at 300 feet per second. Using an online calculator this comes out to 13.84 joules. This is like getting hit with a standard paintball at 315fps

Assuming we put a little more weight into this ball, maybe an extra 20% instead of 10%, we get 15.12 joules. This is like getting hit with a standard paintball at 329fps.

So i mean, it doesnt seem that the increase in energy would be too drastic. to put things in perspective, getting shot with a standard paintball at 350 fps is 17.07 joules.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 300z View Post
Hopefully this is a legit counterpoint to what you just said haha.

From my weak understanding of physics, you would need a higher speed to move a larger mass. So if you can have a larger paintball moving at 300 fps (higher energy) you are going to get more distance which is good. I am proposing higher energies!

with respect to a larger projectile being more susceptible to wind - why would a heavier object (since it has a larger surface area it will have a heavier weight) be more heavily influenced by wind. I mean yes I can see that it would have a higher surface area (like boat sail effect) but the increased mass should offset that?

I mean 50 cal i remember being heavily influenced by wind, 62 less so, and 68 even less. Extrapolating this would suggest .75 would be even better? Again to a limit.
i think you are misundertanding what keys said, among other things. first, "higher speed to move a larger mass" is incorrect. what you mean is, higher gas pressure or larger gas volume to propel a larger mass to 280 fps, vs propelling a smaller mass to 280 fps. having a larger caliber paintball moving at 300 fps would not be fun for anyone. if anything, the fps would have to come down in order to have the same kinetic energy as a 68 caliber paintball. this would mean less distance covered.

second, keys said the smaller mass is more susceptible to wind.

thus, any marginal benefits of a larger caliber paintball are offset by the increased cost of the paintball, the decreased effective distance due to having to lower the fps for safety reasons, and other associated costs of tooling for a different caliber paintball (you would need new guns, barrels, hoppers, etc). i'd rather just spend that money on 68 caliber paint and go play.

i'm not against change, and by all means if someone can try a larger caliber paint to see, go for it. but 68 caliber has worked ok for 20 years so far.

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Ok did math for the first time in like 10 years so dont jump on me too hard if im wrong. Did my best using online calculators haha!

Ok a standard paintball is 3 grams, and fires at 300 feet per second. Using an online calculator this comes out to 12.54 joules

Now, since 75 cal is a 10.3% increase over 68 call we will assume the mass increases proportionally.

So new paintball is 3.309 grams and first at 300 feet per second. Using an online calculator this comes out to 13.84 joules. This is like getting hit with a standard paintball at 315fps

Assuming we put a little more weight into this ball, maybe an extra 20% instead of 10%, we get 15.12 joules. This is like getting hit with a standard paintball at 329fps.

So i mean, it doesnt seem that the increase in energy would be too drastic. to put things in perspective, getting shot with a standard paintball at 350 fps is 17.07 joules.
the fps limit around these parts is 280 fps. back in the day, it was 300 fps, but we played in huge woods, not tiny speedball fields where we were getting hit from 20 feet away is common. i don't know why you even mention the energy of a 350 fps paintball. do you play speedball where people are getting hit with 350 fps paintballs often? anyways, by your own comments i don't trust any hard numbers you come up with, no offense. "weak understanding of physics", "did math for the first time in 10 years" and "assume" do not inspire confidence.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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on the kinetic energy - i am suggesting more energy! i want the increased distance and power. I did some math above (hopefully it aint way off or embarassing) it doesnt seem like the increases would be so terrible.

That makes sense in terms of wind resistance. I agree with that.

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Originally Posted by Cyco-Dude View Post
i think you are misundertanding what keys said, among other things. first, "higher speed to move a larger mass" is incorrect. what you mean is, higher gas pressure or larger gas volume to propel a larger mass to 280 fps, vs propelling a smaller mass to 280 fps. having a larger caliber paintball moving at 300 fps would not be fun for anyone. if anything, the fps would have to come down in order to have the same kinetic energy as a 68 caliber paintball. this would mean less distance covered.

second, keys said the smaller mass is more susceptible to wind.

thus, any marginal benefits of a larger caliber paintball are offset by the increased cost of the paintball, the decreased effective distance due to having to lower the fps for safety reasons, and other associated costs of tooling for a different caliber paintball (you would need new guns, barrels, hoppers, etc). i'd rather just spend that money on 68 caliber paint and go play.

i'm not against change, and by all means if someone can try a larger caliber paint to see, go for it. but 68 caliber has worked ok for 20 years so far.
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